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10 Best Networking Books To Grow Your Business and Boost Your Career

Looking for the best book on networking? Interested in developing business relationships? Read this article to discover 10 life-changing books on networking!

Key points

  • Even the most confident, social, and outgoing among us may find the prospect of personal and professional networking daunting. 

  • We’re expected to get tangible results out of encounters with strangers. Be it our matchmaking friend or sales manager, they want you to leave the party or conference with a date or a business card.

  • Networking, as well as being a social skill, also counts as a career skill, and most of us have had no formal career or social skills training. However, building up such skills can be an essential part of your career, so it’s worth investing time in yourself to learn them. 

  • Good, old-fashioned books are one of several ways to start self-training in networking. 

  • Some top-rated networking books include How to be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett, Success is in Your Sphere by Zvi Band, and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. 

How important is it to build new relationships and retain the current ones? Let numbers speak for us: A LinkedIn survey has shown that almost 80% of professionals believe networking is crucial to career success. 

This has become a matter of common sense when so many people capitalize on the professional network they have: advice from mentors, unpublished job opportunities, idea exchange, valuable sources of information, and so on.

How to grow a professional network is, nonetheless, not widely taught. It merely depends on us to find a way around it. Reading is one of the easiest ways to learn it at no cost. Here is our list of the ten best networking books that have helped millions of entrepreneurs master the power of connection.

1. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi 

Never Eat Alone is consistently on entrepreneurs’ top ten lists regarding books about the world of professional networking. Originally published in 2005, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi has been reprinted several times. As the name suggests, this book seems to be a guide to utilizing our free time by involving other people in our pastimes for network expansion.

However, there is much more to it than you thought. Never Eat Alone provides us with a cognitive foundation from which we can have sustainable growth in collaboration skills. According to Ferrazzi, networking does not necessarily mean doing someone a favor and hoping they will pay us back someday. Still, it includes the behaviors resulting from a win-win mindset. To him, there is a difference between genuine relationships and political glad-handing. Ferrazzi works to inform readers that genuine relationships are based on honest generosity and sincere care for others, and this is what cultivates healthy and productive communication. 

2. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant

The essential interaction in professional networking is exchanging value. Grant starts this book with a distinction between three types of people at work: 

  • The taker (who typically wants to receive more than to donate).

  • The giver (who tends to contribute with very little expectation of being paid back). 

  • The matcher (who finds a balance between giving and taking).

With that distinction, Grant continues to elaborate on the pros and cons of each type of networker, supported by a considerable amount of case studies, be it a well-known story or a personal experience. He then gives us advice that could bring out the best in us, no matter which type of networker we are.

3. Success is in Your Sphere: Leverage the Power of Relationships to Achieve Your Business Goals by Zvi Band

We all have plans for improving our fitness and other habits, but when it comes to relationships, people tend to wing it. Zvi Band takes a more strategic approach to business relationships, building a step-by-step method for deepening connections. Band’s capital strategy of relationship-building relies on several key actions: 

  • developing good relationship habits;

  • understanding your network

  • prioritizing important contacts

  • keeping those connections over the long haul.

The basic idea behind these powerful tools is simple — effective relationship building is not about acquiring new contacts. It’s about strengthening your connections with the key people who will help you drive your business forward. Through personal research, best practices, and case studies, Band provides a prescriptive strategy you can customize and follow daily. 

Success is in Your Sphere deploys a combination of technology and psychological tools to help readers cut through the networking hype. Technology can lead us to focus on boosting numbers rather than creating value. Band’s research reverses this, using a value-first approach to building your most productive and helpful community.

In business, as in life, it all comes down to the quality of your relationships. Success is in your sphere when the right people are on your side.

4. How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network Into Profits by Judy Robinett

As anyone in business knows, strategic planning is critical to achieving long-term success. In How to Be a Power Connector, super-networker Judy Robinett argues that strategic relationship planning should be your top priority. Robinett believes that when people combine their specific skills and talents with a clear, workable path for creating and managing relationships, nothing will stop them from meeting their goals.

How to be a Power Connector offers a detailed guide with helpful networking tips to develop professional relationships using all possible channels, from social media to key influencers. 

Throughout the book, Robinett tries to clarify herself by specifying her principles and adopting catchy phrases. For instance, she uses the name ‘5+50+100’ to talk about reaching out to your top 5 key contacts daily, top 50 key contacts weekly, and top 100 key contacts monthly to maintain our current relationships. With these high-value connections, readers will tap into a dynamic ‘power grid’ of influence that Robinett believes is guaranteed to accelerate personal and professional success.

How to be a Power Connector presents an innovative new format to the traditional networking book. While networking books can sometimes be regarded as ambiguous and repetitive, How to Be a Power Connector reverses such a stereotype and brings about clear and specific writing. 

5. Taking the Work out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections that Count by Karen Wickre

Karen Wickre’s networking book claims that believe it or not, introverts can be successful networkers. While introverts are often told to network until it gets easier, Wickre’s book offers a different approach. Wickre, a self-described introvert who’s worked in Silicon Valley for 30 years, has a technique that involves making the most of the introvert’s gift for forming deep connections. Her approach involves steering clear of professional mixers and instead setting up one-on-one meetings.

Though it’s aimed at introverts, the book is for all readers who want to get deep and intentional with their networking. Wickre focuses not just on making connections but also on developing them into deeper relationships over time. She recommends a technique known as the ‘loose touch,’ a quick check-in without obligation to meet or do a favor.

6. The Celebrity CEO: How Entrepreneurs Can Thrive by Building a Community and a Strong Personal Brand by Ramon Ray

Everyone has a personal brand today, whether you’re a student, a professional working a 9-to-5, or the CEO of a multimillion-dollar business. Having a personal brand makes you stand apart and encourages you to have higher standards. Most importantly, it establishes you as an industry authority. More people will want to join your sphere when you’re in this position.

If you need help building your brand, The Celebrity CEO is a great resource and starting point. This networking book offers a complete guide to creating a strong personal brand. Ray details the strategies behind how he built a dedicated fan base. As a result, he became a “celebrity” within his market, leading him to become one of the most sought-after influencers in the business world.

Written for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to make a massive impact and build a loyal fan base, The Celebrity CEO is the source for celebrity status in business. 

7. Crush It! Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

Similarly to Keith Ferrazzi, who is listed here as the author of Never Eat Alone, Gary Vaynerchuck is proof of professional networking success. He is widely recognized as an intelligent entrepreneur with a well-established public image. Vaynerchuck has amassed a YouTube following of one million subscribers, proving this networking book offers more than mere theory.

Crush it! Why Now is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion is a well-written network book that has inspired several people since its publication in 2009.

Gary Vaynerchuk shows readers how to use the power of the Internet to turn their real interests into real businesses. Vaynerchuk spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. Then one day, he turned on a video camera and, using the secrets revealed in Crush It!, transformed his entire life and earning potential by building his brand. By the end of this book, readers will learn tangible tools to harness the power of the Internet and help make their entrepreneurial dreams that much more of a reality. Step by step, Crush It! is the ultimate driver’s manual for modern business. This book brings a breath of fresh air to the exhausting discourse of professional networking.

8. Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter by Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh

Networking to increase the number of contacts you have isn’t effective. Instead, you need to focus on having more meaningful and authentic relationships, even if that means connecting with fewer people. In this book, Gerber and Paugh provide practical advice on becoming a “superconnector” by being generous and protective of your time.

Superconnector reveals a new category of professionals born out of the social media era: highly valuable community-builders who make things happen through their keen understanding and utilization of social capital. “Superconnectors” understand the power of relationship-building and problem-solving by connecting the dots at high levels and purposefully causing different worlds and communities to interact to create mutual value.

Also, if you’re an introvert or anxious when meeting new people, this book does an excellent job of making you feel more confident through its inspiring anecdotes and tactics.

9. Networking Is Not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Connections That Last by Derek Coburn

In Derek Coburn’s opinion, over the last few decades, networking has devolved into an endless series of cattle call events full of open bars and closed fists. Over time, the relationships created at these events typically dwindle and go nowhere. Traditional networking isn’t working anymore. For successful 21st-century business people, large networking events and the mountains of business cards they produce have become a waste of time and valuable resources. It’s time for a new, modern approach to networking.

The book was born out of author Derek Coburn’s frustration with having spent thousands of fruitless hours attending traditional networking events. Thus, Networking is Not Working offers fresh, effective, and unconventional strategies for growing and nurturing a powerful network. Now, Coburn says it is important to focus on a pay-it-forward approach when networking.

The strategies presented in Networking is Not Working grew Coburn’s revenue by 300% in just eighteen months and can have a major impact on your business.

10. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

With over fifteen million copies sold, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is one of the most popular networking books of all time. Despite being written almost ninety years ago, it is still read by a great number of people around the world, which proves its timeless usefulness.

How to Win Friends and Influence People has a relatively simple format. Carnegie sought to teach readers the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.

The four main parts of the book are as follows:

  • Part 1: Fundamental techniques for handling people

  • Part 2: Six ways to make people kike you

  • Part 3: Give honest and sincere appreciation

  • Part 4: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Throughout the book, Carnegie inserts practical and specific guides for readers to take with them. His simple yet powerful advice includes lessons on being a good listener, encouraging others to talk about themselves, and a reminder that if you are wrong, you should admit it quickly and emphatically. Carnegie’s book is a great place to start if you want to venture into professional networking successfully.

Read the best networking books with Headway

Together, these books demonstrate that it’s not about how many people you know; it’s about how well you know them. Through these networking books, many entrepreneurs have picked up tips for turning contacts, in name only, into real relationships. Those relationships don’t just bring business benefits but also provide joy from truly connecting with another human being.
Interested in learning more about networking but worried that you don’t have enough time to do all this reading? Fortunately, the Headway app allows busy individuals to continue their business growth by reading book summaries or listening to them while on the go. With this app, you can listen to or read 15-minute audio book summaries during your commutes, while grabbing coffee or strategizing your next business move.

Looking for useful tips on how to grow your network? Download the Headway app to access a large library with the best networking and personal development books.


Which is the best book to learn networking for beginners?

There are hundreds of networking books for beginners or people trying to learn the basics of good networking skills. How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett is a great place to start for a detailed, tangible guide of helpful networking tips.

How do I get better at professional networking?

Whether you love meeting new people or the thought of a room full of strangers makes you shudder, networking is an essential element of career success. Books are one of several ways to start self-training in networking. Our comprehensive list of the ten best networking books to grow your business is a great place to start!

How do I practice networking?

Networking, like other skills, takes practice to become proficient and confident. The content covered in How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a great place to start building your networking skills. Carnegie’s book teaches readers six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. 

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